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New Residents Find Skeleton Hidden in Houston Home

Could it belong to missing prior owner Mary Cerruti?
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2017 10:02 AM CST
New Homeowner Adjusts Attic Board, Finds Bones
This image of Mary Cerruti appeared on a Houston Police Department Missing Persons Unit flyer in 2015.   (Houston Police Department)

The new occupants of a Houston home didn't spend the night in it on Saturday, understandably. Earlier that day, while moving into the 1,161-square-foot Heights bungalow, one saw a gap in the attic's floorboards, peered in with a flashlight, and made a grim discovery, reports ABC13: bones in the space between the attic floor and sheet rock of the ceiling below it. The Chronicle reports they could belong to Mary Cerruti, the 61-year-old former owner who hasn't been seen since February or March 2015. The Chronicle reports that police did enter the home that summer looking for Cerruti, without luck; one neighbor went so far as to engage a private investigator. Now, perhaps, some answers: A pair of red eyeglasses the paper describes as of the type Cerruti wore were found with the skeleton.

Among the rumors that had swirled since Cerruti went missing: that she had been killed, or that things somehow got messy with the luxury apartment complex that shot up next to her home—though she had vocally fought it, perhaps she actually gave in, sold her place, and then bailed on the neighborhood. But the latter doesn't jibe with the mortgage payments that stopped coming. And a neighbor recounts to KHOU that in 2015 firefighters did enter the home, and "they said the smell was so bad," though the neighbor recalls that being attributed to dead cats found inside. The bones were removed Saturday evening, though identity and cause of death have yet to be determined. A Houston police detective says the person could have tripped in the attic and plunged into the empty space. (The remains of a woman missing 40 years were found in this attic.)

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